Saturday, November 13, 2010

Stop the media circus

It’s time for Newfoundland doctors and the government to get back to the bargaining table and stop negotiating through news conferences and contrived situations to show support for one side or the other.

The spectacle of more than 20 pediatricians and their residents standing in a conference room telling us their tale of woe yesterday is designed only to make us pawns in this dispute in the hopes that we will call our local MHA and ask that the government resume negotiations. Do these well-paid doctors have so little respect for us that they think nothing of using us as pawns? Doctors are used to snapping their fingers and having things happen and it’s as true in St. John’s as it is in Halifax or Vancouver.

I’m sorry if Debbie Reid has to work long hours in order to take care of very sick children but frankly Scarlett, she chose her profession and knew what she was getting into. I put in long hours at my job too for not even close to a quarter of what Debbie Reid makes and there are many days when the stress level is just as high.

There is a reason why doctors in St. John’s joke about the Janeway being “six kids hospital” rather than “sick kids”. It’s because of the relatively small number of patients.

You want to know something else? I find it interesting that there are more pediatricians resigning than doctors in other fields? They’re targeting the most vulnerable of the population and I’m sorry but withdrawing your services IS targeting the most vulnerable, regardless of what semantical or economic arguments you want to offer.

What we’re seeing now is a carefully organized media plan unfolding that one day has a medical student doing an “anonymous” interview on CBC to lament the departure of the doctors and another day a family doctor from St. John’s calling CBC to leave a long message talking about the potential impact on her work or the head of the medical school talking about worries about the future of medical education. Meantime, many people you talk to in the health care field say it’s a bluff.

I’m tired of being exploited for the financial gain of these doctors and it’s time to stop the media circus.

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